Microsoft released its AI-powered voice assistant called Cortana in 2014. Since then, the Redmond giant has added different functions after the voice assistant, named after the synthetic intelligence character from the Halo universe, to put it on an equal footing with other leading assistants such as Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. However, did you know that Microsoft almost gave the voice assistant a ridiculously funny name before its official release?
Bing + o = Bingo! Do you understand?
In a recent interview of Big betsMicrosoft’s Product Manager Sandeep Paruchuri revealed that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wanted to release the voice assistant called, just wait, Bingo!
According to Paruchuri, Ballmer wanted a unified naming scheme for Microsoft’s products and services, and he pitched the name Bingo to make it sound like the name of Microsoft’s search engine Bing. However, when Ballmer was… replaced by Satya Nadella in 2014, the name was luckily dropped.
“Ballmer had bad product taste. His parting gift was to try and call it Bingo. But we’ve been waiting’ said Paruchuri during the interview.
Coming with the name Cortana, it wasn’t the original name of Microsoft’s voice assistant either. The company wanted to release the assistant as Alyx. However, when the internal name for the voice assistant leaked to the public, Microsoft decided to: closed Alyx and keep the name Cortana permanent.
While Cortana is currently available on Windows, Microsoft discontinued support for the voice assistant on Android and iOS earlier in 2021. Additionally, with the release of Windows 11, Microsoft also eliminated Cortana from the first-boot experience, as detailed on the list of features removed from Windows. And if that wasn’t enough, you can always remove Cortana from Windows 11 to speed up the search process and minimize the constant RAM usage on the platform.